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The State of Parenting In WE, In 3 Stats

Millennial parenting has changed in Western Europe since last year, and these are three parenting stats brands need to know…

TL;DR

  • The majority of Millennial parents in Western Europe have one child, while the proportion of parents with more than two kids is decreasing
  • As the continent face a huge increase in the cost of living, most parents now say they’ve underestimated how much it costs to raise a child
  • Three in five Millennials—parents and non-parents alike—say they don’t want to bring a child into the world right now

Millennial parents in Western Europe have been seriously tested in the past years. They’ve had to adapt their parenting style to the threat of a global pandemic, by creating home-schooling rules, while making sure their kids’ mental healthand theirswas okay. All of this was done mostly without the help of family members during quarantines. Now, a year out of the pandemic, European parents face a worrying increase in cost-of-living, and political tensions across the continent. Considering all these changes, what does Millennial parenting look like in 2022 and what does it mean for brands wanting to reach this segment of young Europeans?

In this year’s WE Millennial Parenting Report, YPulse surveyed Millennial21-39-year-old moms and dads in Western Europe and asked them everything about parenting. Here are three important stats that will help you understand how Millennial parenting is changing in this region:

The majority of young parents in Western Europe have one child

In the WE Millennial Parenting survey, YPulse asks young parents how many children they have to better understand the demographics of this population. It’s a general trend: parents in Western Europe are having fewer kids than previous gens. As a result, various governments on the continent are taking action and creating policies to boost fertility such as tax breaks, loan forgiveness, housing subsidies, and even baby bonuses. As an example, Hungary passed a bill that exempts women with four children or more from income tax for life.

Knowing that an increasing portion of the WE population has only one child, brands reaching Millennial parents in this region should adapt their marketing accordingly. Marketing campaigns targeting young European parents should consider ways to better represent families with only one child.

And almost three in five young European parents did not anticipate the costs associated with raising a child

When it comes to raising kids, Millennial parents are increasingly worried about their finances. Compared with last year, Millennial parents are even more likely to say they underestimated how much it would cost them to raise a child. There’s little question that the economic situation in Western Europe has become far more strained in 2022. With rising costs associated with childcare—think nurseries, childminders, and nannies—some parents are left with no other choice than to give up work to take care of their children.

Brands are stepping up to help these young consumers overwhelmed with the financial burden of parenting. U.K. mass merch retailer Primark has promised to freeze prices on children’s clothing collections to help parents save during these times of hardship. For this week’s “half-term”—a week-long holiday during school term in the U.K.—Marks & Spencer relaunched a campaign the brand experimented with in the summer to help parents with the current energy crisis. The high-end supermarket offers a meal for free to any child whose parents spend five pounds on food.

Any brand can take the opportunity to show young parents in Western Europe that they understand these tight financial times. Keep in mind that the most vulnerable population are the single-parent families, who by all accounts are hit the hardest by the cost of living crisis.

Young parents in Western Europe don’t think the world is a great place to raise kids right now

Young Europeans have many reasons to worry about the world they live in: a war on the Eastern end of their continent, an unresolved climate crisis, and surging inflation that’s sending the cost of living through the roof. All these factors contribute to a general feeling of anxiety and are reflected in Millennials’ view of parenting, with three in five agreeing with the statement “I don’t want to bring a child into this world right now.”

YPulse already told you how young Europeans are worried about the world, especially when it comes to the climate crisis. In the WE Sustainability Report, YPulse found that 80% of Gen Z and Millennials agree with the statement “climate change is an immediate threat to human life.” And when young Europeans think about parenting specifically, 85% of them agree: “I worry about the future world my child(ren) will live in” (vs 83% in 2021).

This anxious state of mind might explain the growing interest that young Europeans have in freezing their eggs, with 31% saying they are interested in doing so, a seven point jump from 2021. In an uncertain—and expensive!—world, this gen is thinking of delaying parenting thanks to technology that makes it possible to have kids later in life. This medical option is becoming a growing market for companies as the rise of egg-freezing startups indicates.